Monday, November 30, 2015

Sunshine in Summerville!

Hello family, 
This week has been crazy! Started it in Union, now I am across the state in Summerville, right next to Charleston! 
70 degrees in Summerville today ;)

I love Union with all my heart and I know I always will! I met some of the best people while serving there, and I know I'll never forget them. It is a very small town, and everyone knows everyone. We sometimes had better luck running into people at Walmart than if we were to knock on their door, and ask anyone that has served there, that's no joke! 
The people are quirky, and very nice. It only takes a short time to become part of the Union family. 
Our week started with a fishing trip. Monday was pretty hectic but fun anyway, it was pretty cold too. I loved it :) We caught quite a few fish, again, which I filleted and cooked. 
We had DDM (district development meeting) on Tuesday, and it was a very good meeting. We studied a lot about preparing for our appointments, making lesson plans, and role playing how things were gonna go down. Our district was very close, and we all had fun.

 I had no idea that was the last time I would see all of them, but I am very glad to have that be our last time together! We finished DDM and headed to go give a blessing to a member who'd just had back surgery. We headed back to Union and had a good night of seeing people. Wednesday morning, we got the call from the Assistants that I would be transferred Friday morning. We were all really bummed. I figured I would get transferred when we got put into a three pack, but I wasn't entirely sure. It was a hunch that came true. We spent Wednesday meeting with and telling people that I was leaving. It was hard being the day before thanksgiving, because a lot of people weren't home. I only got to say goodbye to a few people, it was hard. I'll miss Union a lot. 

Thursday morning, we got a ride up to boiling springs because we'd been invited to the turkey bowl up there with the zone leaders. It was a lot of fun, but pretty much every missionary that participated throughout the mission over did it. We were all super sore. It was really cool though, we had a lot of fun and I got to see a lot of missionaries that I wouldn't have been able to see before I left. We headed back to Union when we were through, and had thanksgiving dinner with the Southards’; they made some way good food. We were fit to burst before we left. It was really terrible to have to say goodbye to them all. 

We went to the Songs after that, and they were also eating. We mainly went to say goodbye though. Family parties with them are always a good missionary opportunity, because there are a lot of less actives there. Her brother Caleb tried to get me to ride his motorcycle too, that was funny. 

It was definitely an emotional day, I had spent 8 months getting to know and love all these people, only to leave with 3 days notice. It seems like three days notice is a theme for me. :P 
I was finished packing an hour or so before the assistants came to get me, and they were limping and sore from football the day before too, so now I didn't feel as bad for overdoing it. I was slightly worried about my rhabdomyolisis acting up, so I started pounding water the last couple days. Anyway, they picked me up, I said my goodbyes, and we headed out. It's a pretty long drive across the state; to we stopped at their apartment to have lunch. We all limped and groaned as we walked down the stairs, and laughed at how dumb we were. I'm glad it only lasted a couple days.  

Okay, one of the coolest this about driving across the state, everything changes! In Utah, you drive from one end to the other, and it kinda stays the same with some light differences, where in South Carolina, I went from lots of pecan and water oak trees and rolling hills, to fewer hills, and a lot of pine trees. So many pine trees, then we left the Columbia, Irmo area and we started seeing more palm and palmetto trees, then both sides of the road were just swamps, we were literally driving on a highway surrounded by swampland and water, then all the Spanish moss started to appear. I felt kinda dumb as I would flip around to take a picture of a moss covered tree, only to see that they were everywhere in my new area. Hah! 
We left Union around 9:30am and got to Summerville at 2pm with a one hour lunch break in between driving. Pretty good time. It is very pretty down here in the low country, and now I have been everywhere! Columbia, West Columbia, the upstate and the low country! I am pretty a cited to be here! 

Elder Hunter Wilbert is my new companion, and he is from Pleasant Grove UT, and will be finishing his mission in about 2 weeks. I have a short time to learn this area, but I know it is inspired that I'm here, so God must have a plan to help me do it. 
1 Nephi 3:7 very quoted and seems cliché sometimes, but it is a very accurate scripture! We have to have unwavering faith and trust that God knows what's up. 
I love this new ward; I actually found out that this is where Elder Welty trained my trainer, Elder Sumner! Now I'm here! :) This ward is very self-reliant when it comes to missionary work; we filled the font Saturday morning for a baptism that the missionaries really didn't have to work to get. His wife and the other members had prepared him and taught him everything, and the missionaries just had to go over everything with him to check his understanding, and boom, he's been baptized. :) so cool!
I got sick yesterday, but I am grateful that God let me get through church, the afternoon and a dinner appointment before it really hit me and I started throwing up. No fun for my new comp to have to deal with, but he's very kind and makes sure I have everything I need. 
I know I'm supposed to be here, and I'm ready to take on this new challenge. I love tough things.
5 things I'm thankful for this week:
1) tums
2) spiritual confirmation
3) member meals
4) challenges
5) scriptures that testify of trials

Love y'all!
Elder Barker with Elder Nielsen
They attended High School together and are now serving in the same area :)

Makin' new friends already!

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